body positive model

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Model, lifeguard, medic and student, Cape Town beauty Chloe Kellerman is overall #GOALS.

The blonde bombshell stands up for what she believes in while killing the Instagram game.

We sat down with Chloe to chat about social media secrets, what inspires her and why she believes models like her will change the world.

Tell us a bit about your background. How did you get into modeling?

I have always wanted to be a model. One day I was on Instagram and I found Ashley Graham’s page and she made me feel so empowered. She made me feel comfortable in a bikini, and showed me how to love myself.

I am not signed with an agency up to this day, because they still all have those standards that I just cannot fit into.

I’m too small to be plus size and too big and short to be a runway model.

My Instagram followers think otherwise and I will represent myself and that is how I am a model today.

body positive model

Image (C) Instagram

What inspired you to spread your message of body positivity? 

I have been told my whole life by people, like most of us have, that I am too this or too that, you would look better if you lost x amount of weight or whatever the case may be. And I thought, I am not going to lose weight because Hollywood stars are smaller or bigger and that’s what is beautiful. I am going to stay how I am as long as I am healthy. I’m taking this opportunity to be a voice for those that could not use theirs.

How did you get involved in lifeguarding?

I lived in Korea until the end of grade 9, so when I went into grade 10 in South Africa, my mom said I should find a hobby and make friends. I saw lifeguards on the beach close to where we live, and I thought wow, I want to be like them. I worked on my fitness and passed the physical and written exam, and since then I have loved most moments of it.

body positive model

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If there’s one thing you could tell your younger self, what would it be?

There are so many things I would love to tell my younger self, but one is that “it is ok to be yourself, let them judge you, as long as you are happy”. And what this means is that I am very bubbly but was constantly told I’m hyperactive, and I hid my personality to avoid being told anything negative. Now my personality has gotten me places, because I’m not afraid to be the authentic me that God has made me. 

What does “defying societal standards” mean to you?

To me it means going against what people think is normal in the modelling society. I am saying; yes, I am shorter than the conventional model, not as thin as her, but I am still beautiful and I will be part of the change in society in which not only one body type is celebrated. Furthermore, I am saying most women in the world look different to the beautiful conventional model and we want our bodies to be celebrated too.

What are you studying at UCT?

I am in my final year of my undergraduate in Psychology and Organisational Psychology (Business Psychology).

Image (C) Instagram

Who is your biggest inspiration?

This is so cliché, but I don’t care; my mom is my mentor and she inspires me to be a better version of myself every day, to work hard for the things I need and be grateful when I receive it. 

What was your first big break?

I’m still waiting for my big break, but when I really had a growth in following and some international models recognized me was when I posted a photo of myself in my costume with the caption basically saying why I am always in swimwear and it went viral.

Image (C) InstagramWhat is your message to South African women?

Dear South African women, you are all queens regardless of what someone has to say. Your body is not only beautiful but it is strong. Do not hide yourself because you are letting fear hold you back. Each woman’s body has a story, so go tell yours.

body positive model

Image (C) Instagram

Bonus Question

What’s the secret on getting more likes for a post?

By liking other people’s posts! Seriously, they should like yours back a lot of the time. Also forming engagement groups of people doing a similar thing to you. Also be real, people love following others when they feel like they can relate.

body positive model

Image (C) Instagram

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AUTHOR: Nina Duffy